Posted by Gavin Galloway on February 29, 2012
Around 1960 Honda Motor Company was planning to enter the US motorcycle market, leading with their top-of-range 250cc and 300cc machines.
Mr Honda was especially confident – the shape of the handlebars resembled the eyebrow of Buddha, which he felt was a strong selling point.
The entry plan failed – the Honda bikes lacked credibility in a market dominated by large capacity machines of 650cc and over from manufacturers like Harley-Davidson and Triumph.
What happened next?
The small Honda sales team were using Honda 50cc ultra lightweight machines as around town transport; they were noticed by local people who saw them as practical/fun transport, and began buying them.
This small snowball grew until Honda Motor Company became the world’s no 1 motor cycle manufacturer.
If your strategy is non-conventional, make sure you put a safety net in place.
Posted by James Littlewood on February 28, 2012
Every so often there is a new product which comes along and makes you smile because they seem to have got it so right.
In a recent workshop conducted as part of a brand identity development project for our client, we saw a slightly different snack that offered something more relevant, targeted and original than the usual array of caffeine-infused hot beverages, sugar-filled cakes and biscuits and the requisite rarely touched fruit.
It’s a sweets brand, but doesn’t make you feel bad for indulging. It’s artificial but you can justify the e-numbers, and it’s fun but will improve your concentration and therefore performance as a serious grown up. Crucially, it is also not a boring apple.
‘Tagungs Tiger’ is the workshop or conference treat of choice for the ambitious delegate who knows he could become the all-conquering business tiger if only he had the energy. The sweets are superficially Haribo-esque gummy bears, but because there is a successful looking tiger on the front of pack dressed in a smart suit next to a flipchart, you know that these will help turn your tired and uninspired mind into that of an alpha-tiger, the king of the corporate jungle!
‘Fruitgums with taurine’ gives you the necessary scientific verification that soon you will be back to your best and prowling for your next killer idea.
Being cursed with a warp-speed metabolism, I occasionally find that I am in need of something sweet to tide me over to lunch and all too often resort to stuffing down cake, pastries and other calorific temptations. Next time I feel the onset of an energy lull, I hope to be able to reach for the tiger. Of course, such need for stimulation is thankfully rare when taking part in the always engaging workshops run by The Value Engineers!
Posted by Giles Lury on February 25, 2012
We have used a disruptive technique that we call ‘Shockwaves’ for number of years now. It’s loosely based on scenario planning and requires the invention of an extreme situation to get people to think about an almost unimaginable future scenario, and how they and their brands would respond to it.
I remember using the technique with a confectionery company. The Shockwave we introduced to ask the team to imagine that sugar was treated as a harmful substance and taxed in the same way as alcohol and tobacco. Despite initial incredulity, the team generated a range of interesting reponses.
Fast forward to today, when I’m reading the WSJ and an article catches my eye:
“Get ready for the War on Sugar – A team of scientists from the University of California, San Francisco, recently published a paper contending that sugar was toxic and addictive and should be regulated like alcohol and tabacco.”
Looks like I better dig out that workshop report…
Posted by Sally Kay on February 20, 2012
On reading the story that Kellogg’s acquired Pringles my initial reaction was; why would Kellogg’s, who are increasingly communicating the importance of healthy living, acquire a brand that is the other end of the spectrum? Health even has its own section on the Kellogg’s website and the association with the Governments Change4Life initiative is clearly displayed:
‘Because nothing’s more important in life than your health and wellbeing, we’ve teamed up with the Government’s Change4Life initiative to promote a balance of eating well, being more active and therefore living longer’ (http://www.kelloggs.co.uk/health/)
With consumers becoming increasingly savvy about what actually constitutes a healthy breakfast (low carbohydrate, high protein and fresh nutritious ingredients), we can assume that the threat to cereals ‘healthy’ perceptions will only increase …and for Kellogg’s, the acquisition of the Pringles brand surely won’t help with this perception?
However, if we look more broadly than the need for health, the acquisition of Pringles does start to make a lot more sense. Kellogg’s currently dominate the morning and daytime snacking occasions with their broad range of cereals and cereal bars. Strategically for Kellogg’s, Pringles takes them into a new category and new occasions. Pringles are for sharing, particularly centred round more afternoon/ evening occasions and more occasional than their current brand portfolio (which is much more habitual) – ultimately resulting in (almost) completely incremental growth for Kellogg’s. They also sit well together in terms of targeting a similar demographic of mainstream families, not particularly budget but not premium either.
I suppose the ultimate question therefore, is whether this acquisition will taint consumer perceptions of either brand… and having asked around my ‘non-marketing’ friends, Kellogg’s and Pringles are currently perceived as completely separate brands and as long as this continues the fact that they are owned by the same company won’t be widely acknowledged by the general public and therefore won’t actually make a difference to consumer perceptions.
Posted by Giles Lury on February 20, 2012
I’m clearly behind the times when it comes to new ice-creams but I’ve just seen my first Nestle Potz and they are a great example of a tried and trusted source of innovation – stealing with pride.
Given the continuing success of McFlurry, one of the ice-cream brands had to ‘steal’ the idea and develop a similar format product for in-home consumption - and with their portfolio of brands which have already been used as the guest co-brands, I should have guessed Nestle were the obvious choice.
Cue an excuse to buy and try one – but as the Smarties and Rolo versions were sold-out I opted for the Toffee Crisp. My personal view – good but not as good as the original.